Delhi Police have sent teams to three places in Haryana to look for a 22-year-old man accused of killing a 17-year-old in Najafgarh. The victim, Simaran, was shot dead near her house on Tuesday night.
Officials suspect the accused, 22-year-old Shubham, who allegedly shot Simaran in a Mercedes car, could be hiding at his relatives’ places in Bahadurgarh, Jhajjar or in Sonepat.
The probe so far has thrown light on the fact that Simaran became acquainted with Shubham four months ago, police said. But her father, Anand Kumar, said he didn’t know Shubham and wasn’t even aware if his daughter was friends with him.
A senior police officer said the police had called five of Shubham’s friends for questioning on Thursday.
Simaran was allegedly shot by a pistol licensed to Shubham’s friend Yogesh while sitting inside the car, which also belongs to Yogesh. The girl was later rushed to a hospital in Dwarka, where she was declared brought dead.
The incident took place while Simaran was returning home from lunch with Shubham and Yogesh on Tuesday. Yogesh said he heard a gunshot from his car when he stepped out of the vehicle to chat with a friend he spotted on the road, 22-year-old Nitin. Shubham and Simaran were waiting in the vehicle at time. They were near Simaran’s house, at around 9:30 pm.
Nitin and Yogesh apparently ran towards the car, and found Simaran lying in a pool of blood and Shubham standing near her. Simaran’s mother, Annu Devi, who was a few metres away, heard the gunshot and ran towards the car. While people were busy tending to Simaran, Shubham managed to flee, Yogesh told police.
During the investigation on Thursday, Nitin told police he knew Simaran for four years. He had made several calls to Simaran, a few hours before the murder, he claimed.
Police suspect these calls could have triggered an argument between Simaran and Shubham.
While Nitin’s statements match what Yogesh told police, the account of Annu Devi — Simaran’s mother — differ from his at some points, police said.
1 Simaran goes to ‘attend a friend’s birthday’. ‘Lies’ to her mother that she is with her friend Nitin. 2 Mother later calls Nitin, who tells her that Simaran was not with him. 3 Nitin reaches girl’s house. Launches a search for her with Simaran’s brother Yashish on a scooty. 4 Nitin returns with Yogesh’s Mercedes, carrying Simran and Shubham, in tow 5 Nitin, Yogesh and Shubham get into an argument. Simaran waits inside the car. 6 Shubham shoots Simaran dead, flees. 7 Yogesh, Shubham make lunch plans. Shubham says he will come with a girl. 8 The three — Shubham, Yogesh and Simaran — head to a restaurant in Rajouri Garden. 9 The men order beer. They later stop for shopping near Dwarka. 10 Around 6.30pm, Simaran’s mother starts calling. The trio head back. 11 Yogesh sees Nitin near Simaran’s house and gets down to chat. 12 Nitin, Yogesh hear gunshot and rush back. They find Simaran bleeding and Shubham standing near her. A gun is lying in the car. Shubham flees.
In the FIR registered at Najafgarh police station, Devi told police that Simaran had left home on the pretext of attending a friend’s birthday party. When Devi called her around 6:30 pm, Simaran told her that she was with Nitin and handed the phone to Shubham, who pretended to be Nitin. However, the mother saw through the ruse and reprimanded Simaran and asked her to return home.
Devi later called Nitin, who said Simaran was not with him. Nitin later reached Simaran’s house and asked the girl’s younger brother Yashish to accompany him as he searched for her in the locality.
Nitin returned around 8pm, with a black Mercedes following his scooty, which parked a few metres ahead of Simaran’s house. Then all three men were on the road while Simaran waited in the car.
Nitin and Shubham then got into an argument that spiralled out of control.
“An enraged Shubham walked towards the car and shouted ‘Aaj is kahaani ko yahi khatam kar dunga’ (I will end this matter right here today). Shubham then shot my daughter and ran away,” Devi said.